If you can’t afford a designer, you might be tempted to create the assets you need for your business on your own—after all, new computers come with a bunch of tools and apps that potentially cost a lot less than hiring a professional designer. There’s just one problem: The tools might be easy, but the creativity is the heart of design—and it’s hard. That’s why designers can (and should) charge what they do. But if you’re just getting off the ground and still have design needs, there are ways to navigate things for the entry level designer. The folks at FotoJet created a web-based design app chock full of templates intended to be edited with minimal effort, and they applied the same approach to their latest product, DesignEvo, to designing logos.
The very first thing you’ll notice is that it’s a “free” online logo maker. What’s “free” in this world of “freemium?” Well, you have total creative access and control of everything the app can produce: a nice supply of fonts, shapes, designs, and templates. You can even save your newly designed logo. What can’t you do? Download or print it. But for the privilege of doing so, the pricing is relatively reasonable. Once you’re done designing, it will cost you $20 to download your design as a transparent PNG file at a resolution suitable for printing on a business card or letterhead. For $40, you can also download the logo as a vector file and even copyright the logo. You still have to bring the creativity, but the price points are pretty good for a “free” tool.
When you first start making a logo, you’ll see a bunch of templates—and there are a lot of them. They also have categories that are pretty wide spread. You can even start from scratch, but since they’ve done a lot of the heavy lifting, it might just be easier to start with one of the premade ones and go from there.
Once selected, you’ll be asked for a company name and slogan (both of which are optional), and magically, you’ll have something ready to start editing.
If you’ve used FotoJet or Canva.com before, the tools will look very familiar. The main difference is the design focus is purely on logo and branding. The selection of fonts from which to choose is pretty good—some of them seem a bit old school or kitchy to me for my taste, but there’s enough variety to pin something down that you’ll like. The font controls are better than I expected, but if you’re a real design freak or typographer, they’re very bare bones: No ligatures, no full blown kerning pairs… and if you don’t know what I’m talking about, then DesignEvo is actually for you!
You can make the background a color, but I always opt for making it transparent. It will mean you can use your design on any surface or color, as long as your colors contrast enough with the background (don’t put a black design on a black background… you won’t be able to see it!).
You can actually design and save up to three logos without paying for any. After the third, you’ll have to decide if you want to pay for one or delete one in favor of saving your fourth.
Upon testing DesignEvo, I found there were a few minor annoyances: Every time I went in to design a new logo, I had to re-log in using my Facebook. Although there are centering guides and snapping guides, they were a bit fussy. Sometimes the saving would hang (eventually it did save). You can only zoom in so far. But all of these are relatively minor complaints versus the time and cost factor.
Even if you are an experienced designer, this is a good brainstorming tool. In fact, I found that once I designed something, I wanted to tweak the letter spacing, so I bought the “plus” version of the logo so I could manipulate the vectors, tweak the sizing, etc. until I got what I really was after. I was overall happy with the experience.
In reviewing this app, I decided to challenge myself to design as quickly a few logos that would work for some friends of mine. Take a look at the video below to see the results!